DHP Family is bidding to stage events throughout the winter after bringing the curtain down on its summer-long residency at Nottingham’s Arboretum.
The independent promoter and venue operator has hosted socially-distanced festival Homegrown for 450 attendees across two stages and provided a platform for over 40 local musicians since launching the Arboretum Garden Bar & Bandstand in August. The series came to a close last weekend with two sold-out shows by Frank Turner.
DHP MD George Akins came up with the idea to turn the park into a socially-distanced event space, which was made possible with planning permission from Nottingham City Council and a partnership with Camden Brewery.
“A great deal of effort went in to turning the Arboretum’s bandstand into a safe and fun environment," said Akins. "Creating the pop-up event space enabled us to support local musicians, connect with the local community and provide some much-needed positivity in a time where the live music industry is struggling. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and hope to continue the event next summer.”
It was hugely important for us to be able to provide regular work for so many people
George Akins, DHP Family
The project provided more than 65 jobs over the course of four weeks, enabling once furloughed DHP Family staff to come back to work to provide marketing, ticketing and production support for the event, and providing much-needed work for industry contractors, including stagehands, site crew, sound engineers, sanitation, PA and lighting, site infrastructure staff and IT providers.
“At a time when both the event and live music industry are greatly suffering, it was hugely important for us to be able to provide regular work for so many people," added Akins. "As the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign highlighted, the crew and freelance contractors are the lifeblood of this industry, so we were very pleased to be able to work with so many great professionals to deliver these events.”
Despite the success of the series, the company has reiterated it is not a sustainable way of making live music work in the future.
DHP Family promotions director, Anton Lockwood said: “Whilst the success of our socially distanced events at Nottingham Arboretum have been a ray of light for live music during this difficult period, they are simply not a full-time solution for the music industry. As summer draws to a close, outdoor events become less viable and reduced capacities are not feasible long-term.”